I had such an amazing time delivering the Creative Mornings Vancouver talk for August last Friday. The global theme for the talks this month is failure, and I used the opportunity to think about and flesh out some ideas that had started circling at the back of my mind. I wrote more about it on my blog. Please let me know what you think! Are there stories you tell yourself about failure?
Last week, on a whim, I pitched a story to some radio people who were putting together a whole show in just 48 hours. In conjunction with the brilliant public-radio show Radiolab and the 99% Conference in New York City, Longshot Radio was exploring the topic of creativity, revision and failure. If Mighty Ugly’s not about that, I don’t know what it’s about.
To my surprise and delight, I ended up working with a Radiolab producer on the piece I wrote and recorded in less than 24 hours. It was an honour to be part of such a smart and ambitious project, and downright awesome to have my piece included in the final show.
Here it is:
His focus is on business – on how it’s good to create a business culture that celebrates the learning and innovation that can result from mistakes – but I think the attitude he’s promoting is just as important in the rest of life. We have to be easier on ourselves. When we are, we can accept that we screw up sometimes, and we can learn more easily from our screw-ups.
It wasn’t just on a whim that I made the tag-line of this project “where failure’s kinda pretty.” I’ve spent years talking to way too many crafters who say they’re afraid to mess up their projects. One of my many goals with Mighty Ugly is to turn failure on its head so we can all get more comfortable seeing the (sometimes bountiful) benefits in it.
[Hat tip to @the99percent, one of my new favourite Twitter feeds.]
We’re taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people haven’t, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something that’s very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path. It’s exciting, actually.